Richards Buell Sutton LLP generously donated $1 million to help facilitate the construction of the new law building. In this picture, Managing Partner Jeffrey Lowe (centre) is joined by Dean Bobinski and LSS President Matt Brandon.
Richards Buell Sutton LLP can trace its roots back to 1871, the same year British Columbia became a province by joining the Confederation of Canada. That year, the firm was founded by Albert Norton Richards (1822 – 1897). An astute solicitor, Mr. Richards, was named the Queen’s Counsel in 1863. He also entered the political arena, serving as a Member of Parliament of Canada in 1863 and 1872—though he has the perhaps dubious distinction of having been defeated in a by-election in 1864 by a feisty John A. MacDonald. The defeat would help pave the way for Mr. MacDonald’s future role as the first Prime Minister of Canada. Mr. Richards soon recovered, however, going on to become the second Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Richards Street in downtown Vancouver is named for him.
The firm Mr. Richards helped create has connections to UBC that are nearly as venerable as its founder. Richards Buell Sutton LLP has been UBC’s counsel of record since the inception of the University. In 1908, the firm helped draft the original University Act in BC. In so doing, it helped define governance and day-to-day operations for the entire University, including the roles of the Board of Governors, the Senate, the President, and the Faculties.
As members of one of Vancouver's oldest law firms, the lawyers at Richards Buell Sutton LLP have drawn upon their firm’s long history to deliver practical and cost-effective legal services to the community. The firm's core areas of practice include business law, wealth preservation, real estate, employment law, insolvency, personal litigation, commercial litigation, intellectual property and international law. Richards Buell Sutton LLP is also a founding member of the Pacific Rim Advisory Council (PRAC), a strategic alliance of law firms around the world that handle substantial business dealings in the Pacific Rim region.
A strong commitment to the community and its people has been one of the defining core values of Richards Buell Sutton LLP. Realizing that this is an integral reason for their longevity, members of the firm support a number of organizations and causes around the Lower Mainland, including local school groups, community support groups, children's athletics, legal aid programs and post-secondary institutions.
Individuals of the firm serve as board members for many non-profit and charitable organizations. A focus for Richards Buell Sutton LLP is to support organizations that make legal services available to those who otherwise would not have access to them.
Richards Buell Sutton LLP has also demonstrated a strong commitment to investing in legal education and the next generation of BC lawyers. In 1996, the firm supported the UBC Faculty of Law Endowment. It has also significantly supported the Chair in Feminist Legal Studies and the Nathan Nemetz Chair in Legal History, along with many other law bursaries, scholarships and prizes.
The Richards Buell Sutton Reading Room was made possible by donations from the partners of Richards Buell Sutton LLP. This gift represents the firm’s enduring commitment to UBC, the various communities it serves, and the generations of lawyers to come.